Dalai Lama Says Killing Osama Bin Laden Was Justified, in a Dalai Lama Sort of Way

The Dalai Lama delivers a speech during a press conference prior to holding a forty-nine days memorial service for victims of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami at the Gokokuji temple in Tokyo on April 29, 2011. The 75-year-old monk, on his way to the US, offered prayers and messages to a nation in deep sorrow after the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami on March 11 that has plunged Japan into its worst post-War crisis. AFP PHOTO / TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA (Photo credit should read TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images) Photo: TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/2011 AFP

After news of Osama bin Laden's death, some people had no problem embracing the killing of a mass murderer as a good thing. No equivocation necessary. Others were more conflicted and were forced to misquote Mark Twain and Martin Luther King Jr. on the Internet just to make sense of their dueling instincts. At an appearance at the University of Southern California, one student posed that moral conundrum to arguably the most compassionate man alive. Considering that in the Dhammapada, the Buddha himself wrote, "'He abused me, he struck me, he overcame me, he robbed me' — in those who harbor such thoughts hatred will never cease," how should we feel about killing bin Laden?

According to the Los Angeles Times, the spiritual leader said Al Qaeda's leader deserved compassion and even forgiveness, but added, rather unexpectedly for a man who won't kill a fly:

"Forgiveness doesn't mean forget what happened ... If something is serious and it is necessary to take counter-measures, you have to take counter-measures."

There you have it. You're spiritually free to rejoice in bin Laden's death ... depending on how you define countermeasures.

Dalai Lama suggests Osama bin Laden's death was justified [LAT via NPR]